“Roads, where we’re going we don’t need roads” is the iconic line from ‘Back to the Future’ as Doc Brown shows off his flying DeLorean. Riding Onewheels has a funny way of making you feel futuristic. While not the fastest electric skateboard, the Onewheel has the ability to ride over a wide range of terrain making it superior over all other e-skateboards.
Onewheels are equipped with a go-kart sized tire allowing for off-road and all-terrain use. The tire diameter allows the rider to overcome many road obstacles and road conditions. The Onewheel is capable of traveling on asphalt and off-road terrain.
Terrain capabilities of a Onewheel:
- Indoor Flooring
- Street (asphalt, concrete, paved roads)
- Gravel or Hard pack
- Wooded Trails
- Beach Sand
- Packed Snow
Riding a Onewheel Over Leaves
Onewheels can go over leaves with ease. Fall is one of my favorite times to ride. While many riders fear leaves, they can be good for trails as they protect them from frost and erosion. Us northern riders prefer a leave-covered trail over a frosty one. You can ride over frost however do it with caution as it is slippery.
Regarding leaves, you do not want to ride through a leave pile, but a layer of up to 3 inches or so should be no issue at all. Always keep an eye out on the terrain ahead and be prepared to unweight your board when need be.
What About Wet / Rainy Conditions
One thing to remember with any electric skate board is that water and electronic components do not mix. Other e-skateboards and Onewheels do have the ability to ride in rainy conditions however, its not advisable. You may see many Onewheels denoted as being “badgered” which is essentially makes the board far more resilient to water conditions. With a badger kit or some waterproofing installed, large puddles are possible.
Remember that while it is possible, there is more-frequent maintenance that is required on the board if you continue to ride in wet conditions. Just like a bicycle, components need to be maintained. The bearings in a Onewheel last for thousands of miles without any required maintenance however if you often ride in beach sand or wet conditions, both have propensity to degrade the bearings prematurely. If you foresee riding in these conditions often, it is recommended to install a bearing seal kit and check on your bearings after your first 1000 miles.
Riding Onewheels in the Snow
Snow is still considered wet conditions and it is recommended to have a badgered board and a treaded tire for added friction. Several videos online can demonstrate the capabilities of snow riding. A Soccasin is a recommended item for snow riding. Its a mesh-like bag that wraps around the Onewheel tire for added contact with the ground. Regardless if its a Onewheel or another PEV, lithium-ion batteries do not perform the best in cold weather. You need to be mindful of battery levels and ride with the understanding that the typical torque and performance from the Onewheel will be lesser due to cold conditions.
Off-roading With a Onewheel
Nothing extra is really needed when taking a Onewheel off-road. Without any added components, the Pint X, XR and GT can easily take on grassy fields, school yards, golf courses, wooded trails and hiking and mountain bike trails. Like any sport or hobby, there are several accessories that make the ride more enjoyable however rest assured, the Onewheel is capable of off-roading. This is the major draw to this board over all other e-skateboards. EUC’s (electric unicycles) are superior yet these are within a different class all together. EUCs have a far larger tire diameter allowing for even rougher terrain.
Depending on the Onewheel board, Pints, XRs and GT’s have a tire diameter that ranges from 10.5″ to 11.5″ allowing to ride over small obstacles without any added technique. ‘Bonking’ (or ‘bollie’) and nudging are advanced techniques that incorporate the elasticity of the rubber tire to ‘pop’ over larger obstacles. Electric skateboards simply do not have the ability to ride over as large of a gamut of terrain as the Onewheel. While the Onewheel is not the fastest board, it certainly is far safer to use off-road than other e-skateboards.
Visit our post on what to look for in an all-terrain electric skateboard. If riding a one wheel is daunting, there are other traditional e-skateboards that can achieve some off-road capabilities. If you want to experience a good deal of off-road riding then a Onewheel is the ideal board to enjoy the trails. No other e-board or hoverboard has the wheel diameter that Onewheel has. This really is what elevates the Onewheel over other e-skateboards. EUC’s are a whole other game, but if you are looking for an off-road board, go for a Onewheel.